16 Jul 2007

Palau college spots export potential of taro wine

3:11 pm on 16 July 2007

Palau says there's a huge economic potential for taro wine or sochu to become a niche market product for Pacific countries.

The vice president of Palau Community College's Cooperative Research Extension programme, Thomas Taro, says other Pacific countries who grow taro could also produce the wine.

Japan's International Oversees Cooperative Agency or JICA donated a wine extracting machine to the college in Palau.

He says sochu is a very popular in Japan, and sochu is available that's distilled from cassava and sweet potato, but no one was making it from taro.

"Everybody are into sochu, its quality, its taste and aroma and plus it goes very well with the variety of food. So I really think that other Pacific islands in terms of their size, and their produce of taro and the commercialisation of taro farming, I think that you can really have a lot of economic potential for them."

Thomas Taro says it is now sourcing funds to export the product.

In Palau, a 500 ml bottle of taro sochu costs US$8.